Seen & Heard: Our Plastic Bag Problem

••• GrowNYC, which organizes the Greenmarkets, is pushing people to use less plastic—to wit, it’s selling “Plastic Cleanse starter kits,” four machine-washable produce bags and one cotton tote, for $15. (The Saturday Tribeca Greenmarket will definitely have them; smaller markets are less likely.) I’ve been making a real effort to use less plastic and to recycle it, and when you start saving plastic bags to recycle, you realize how much you go through. So I’ll be buying that kit—and here’s hoping I can use the produce bags at Whole Foods and Eataly, too.

••• Speaking of plastic, I’ve been a bit down on using the BagSnagger. Part of it got stuck high up in a tree again, and I had to climb on top of a garbage can to retrieve it. I’m still bothered by seeing plastic in trees, especially now that the trees are budding, and I’m a fan of taking care of anything that’s bothering you. But I’m not sure it’s healthy to fixate on the suspended garbage, you know? Moreover, when I was recently taking a bag down (by hand) from a tree outside the 70 Vestry sales office, I wondered why the heck I was doing it and not them. I think everybody needs to step up. Surely, IPN has a ladder to get the many bags strung up in its trees, right?

••• Poets House’s annual benefit walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is June 12: “Celebrate Poets House’s 30th anniversary and the poetry of New York City with readings by beloved poets Billy Collins, Sharon Olds, Gregory Pardlo, and Claudia Rankine. The Walk concludes with a reading of Walt Whitman’s ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,’ read by Olds. After we walk, we’ll have wine, dinner and dessert inside a beautiful, historic foundry in DUMBO and officially launch our 30th Anniversary by honoring long-time Board Member Frank Platt and actor and poetry lover Bill Murray for their remarkable dedication to the organization, as well as poet Claudia Rankine for her service to the field of poetry.”

••• “Law & Order: SVU” is shooting at Broadway and Chambers, forever and ever.

••• Citigroup’s new entrance is glassed, but it’s hard to tell because I shot this through a dirty plastic porthole in the plywood.



  1. I have used these for decades to avoid plastic bags. My current one has had a hole in it for easily 3 years and is still as strong as when it was new.
    Weighs nothing, takes no space, so I always have one with me.

  2. GrowNYC has a farm share program on Thursdays, you sign up a week in advance in person and pick up the following week at 1 Centre St 9th floor, $12 a bag. They have it year round. During summer time the pick up location is under the arches at 1 Centre St. You are not committed for the season and can go week by week or even skips weeks if you know you will be out of town.

  3. Bravo to GrowNYC for trying to get people to use less plastic. But
    don’t look for its Plastic Cleanse starter kits to be much help. Economic theory teaches — and empirical evidence confirms — that in trying to reduce use of a “bad” (whether unnecessary plastic bags or fossil fuels or whatnot), subsidizing alternatives is way less effective than taxing the bad directly. Which is why Cuomo and the state legislature’s overturning the NYC bag fee last month was so dispiriting.